Chief John Maracle Passes Away at 73
On Nov. 16, 2023, John E. Maracle, a faithful servant of the Lord and a dedicated leader within the Assemblies of God, passed away at 73 years old.
At 16, Maracle became a warrior within his tribe, the Mohawk people. As the great-grandson of one of the first Pentecostal believers in his region, Maracle had a heart for seeing his fellow Native leaders and people plant churches that could reach the 622 federally recognized Native nations in the United States.
In 1969, Maracle began his ministry studies at Central Bible College. His education, he said in an interview in 2022, prepared him to “preach, proclaim, and practice the Pentecostal message.” And that’s exactly what he did. After graduating in 1973, Maracle became an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and was appointed as an Assemblies of God U.S. missionary in 1975.
Together, with his wife, Rana, Maracle served as the president of the Native American Fellowship from 2000 – 2022 and was elected as the Ethnic Fellowship executive presbyter in 2007, a position he held for 14 years. In his Executive Presbytery role, Maracle represented the 24 ethnic fellowships within the Assemblies of God, including the nearly 200 American Indian and Alaska Native churches in the United States.
Dennis Rivera, director of Ethnic Relations for the Assemblies of God, remembers Maracle as a brilliant leader who understood how to serve many cultures and nations.
“John made efforts to learn how to greet people in their own language,” Rivera says. “He often led luncheons for the ethnic/language fellowships at the General Presbytery annual meeting and he shared with me that he always invited special guests that would empower and increase ministry capacity to the ethnic/language fellowship leadership. That was his heart — he wanted to partner and support all who served the ethnic minorities within the AG family.”
A member of the Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan, of the Iroquois Confederacy, Maracle also pastored several congregations on reservations in Canada and three states in the U.S. — Wisconsin, New York, and North Carolina.
Now with 186 churches, the Native American Fellowship is one of the largest ethnic/language fellowships within the Assemblies of God. The fellowship is now led by Sakoneseriiosta Brent Maracle, who directly succeeded his father.
“Chief John Maracle leaves a large footprint in the Assemblies of God,” says Rivera.
General Superintendent Doug Clay says, “Chief Maracle was not only a blessing to the Native American Fellowship but to the Assemblies of God as a whole. Only eternity will truly reveal the influence of John’s life and ministry. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.”
Details of Maracle’s celebration of life service can be found on the Native American Fellowship of the Assemblies of God Facebook page.